Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
Pain in Spinal Cord Injury Patients: Does Hardiness Make a Difference?
Sharon Kay Judkins, RN, PhD, CNAA, BC, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA and Pamela Willson, RN, PhD, FNP, BC, School of Nursing, Prairie View A & M University, Houston, TX, USA.
Learning Objective #1: examine associations between levels of hardiness in spinal cord injury patients and nurses.
Learning Objective #2: explore perceptions of pain among spinal cord injury patients.

Background: Among spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, prevalence of pain ranges from 46%-90%; a major problem not being adequately addressed by nurses. Persons evidencing high hardiness have greater resilience under stress and more positive coping and health outcomes (Kobasa). High-hardy managers and nurses experience less stress (Judkins; Rich & Rich). Whether synergistic effects exist between hardiness and nurses and their patients had not been studied.

Aims: This exploratory pilot study examined associations between levels of hardiness in SCI patients and nurses and perceptions of effective pain management.

Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional correlational design was employed. A convenience sample of 31 patients/44 nurses participated in the study. Patients completed the Health Related Hardiness Scale (Pollock); nurses completed the Hardiness Scale (Bartone et al). Patient’s subjective estimate [1(worst)-10(best)] of effective pain management was taken at the end of every shift (3)/day, for 5 consecutive days. Medication records were also reviewed for type/amount/frequency of pain medication(s), and response to pain medication given per nurse.

Results: The majority (68%) of patients were high-hardy; 15% of nurses were high-hardy. Patient hardiness scores were inversely correlated (p<.05) with length of injury (LOI); nurse hardiness scores were inversely correlated (p<.05) with age; no significant associations were determined for variables of hardiness (patient/nurse) and pain management.

Discussion: Although a seemingly appropriate variable, hardiness was not a strong indicator of patient perception of pain management. Among this sample, patients who had their SCI longer were not as hardy as those with shorter LOI. Younger nurses in this sample were hardier than older nurses.

Conclusions: SCI patients may find their injury more stressful the longer the LOI. Nurses with mean ages >42 may find working among SCI patients more stressful than those <42 years old. We recommend further research to find stronger predictor variables of stress associated with pain management.